Maximizing Retention In E-Learning – Part 3
When it comes to maximizing retention in the workplace, your overall efforts will yield its own measure in results. In Part 1 we talked about the overall learning culture that needs to be in place. In Part 2 we reviewed some of the core segments of training and learning that need to be in place whether it is instructor led or in an e-learning format. Part 3 is going to cover some of the basics of instructional design.
As you sit down to develop your learning content, you need to determine the overall end product. Is this course associated with a process, a soft skill, leadership development or perhaps even a combination of these. As you have seen in this series, I have basically created a “Maximizing Retention” competency. It was a planned out series of posts that direct to an overall theme. You could even say this was a nice micro-learning type segment. Competency is the big picture. That is your theme. From there you need to develop your sub main points or chapters, and create your learning content for each of those sub main points. Otherwise you are all over the place in your curriculum development and your learners will see no flow to the competency structure.
As I am writing this post I have nothing distracting me. No appointments until later. I have some nice plants like lavender and rosemary near by. No pop ups and no other noises. It’s time to write. One of my favorite tools now is Evernote. This is a great organizing tool for writing content. You can create your various notebooks within the tool and save content ideas on the fly with your tablet or phone. This has helped me in my research phases. Now I have some material to review and ideas I have jotted down. Now is the time to write not from your perspective necessarily but from the perspective of the learner. Sticking to our theme here for this post, your goal is to maximize retention. What engages your learners? What helps pique their interest? What will help them to retain the main points of each course or lesson? Does this course need some positive reinforcement? These are just a sample of questions you need to ask yourself as you prepare your content.
Tools of the Trade
If you are using the Edmego LMS then you already have access to our course authoring tool. There are some other tools that will help with your instructional design.
I use tools such as Pablo or Canva for images. These are great free and/or cost effective tools for generating images. There is always Google Images as well. When you submit a search query, you will see a menu function called “Search Tools”. The next menu function to click is “Usage rights”. Now you can filter our image content that is labelled for resuse.
Powerpoint is still a great tool for those who do not have access to software like Articulate or Captivate. Powerpoint has numerous features that can help you with your overall layout and the look and feel you want. It’s great for making a company template so that your branding comes across in every piece of content. The Edmego course authoring tool has a Powerpoint converter for you to take the Powerpoint file and convert it into a SCORM course.
If you are adding voice overs to your content, use a tool such as Audacity to handle your recordings. It allows you to perform some very basic editing. Make sure you are in a well insulted room when recording your voice overs and let your team know that you are in “production” so to avoid any interruptions. A USB microphone can be purchased at a relatively low cost and still produce great content.
Many of our clients use tools such as YouTube and Vimeo and create a private channel to host their videos. The next step is to grab the embed code and pop it into a slide in the Edmego course authoring tool. Easy peasy. There are also some great video making tools out there. You do not need to be a Steven Spielberg clone to make a great video for your e-learning content. The folks over at Buffer have a great list you can find here.
We started this maximizing retention journey by talking about the many facets to create a productive garden that will yield the best results. With that visual in mind we covered the culture of learning, the structure of learning in a professional environment and also some tools that will help facilitate the instructional design process. Remember that there is not one of us in this world that can honestly say: “I am done learning”. That is not a reality. Even with that simple fact the culture of learning is always changing. It is up to us as teachers, instructors and trainers to allow our passion to come through on our course work. We want our team to maximize their retention. We want them to get straight A’s. We want them to be successful and happy employees that will enjoy their tenure with your company.
Written by Jonathan Saar
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